Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holiday inspiration

Last night, I had nightmares about our Thanksgiving dinner. Sure, sure, it's just the two of us, so if I mess it up, we can just laugh it off later as our first Thanksgiving disaster. Right after we're done being sad that I screwed up Thanksgiving though, which is a very big deal to both of us.

So all night, I tossed and turned, dreaming about blueberry pie that tasted too cinnamon-y, or the chicken being raw in the middle (remember we are having Cornish game hens), or not cleaning out the chicken right (never done it before) or the potatoes being to lumpy. UGH. It was terrible.

And then JJ found me this video, which I think might be helpful to all you other stressed out turkey-makers this year:

"Here's how you make your turkey taste good...gravy, cranberry, and Pinot Noir. Why do you think they put cranberry on turkey? To make it taste good! It doesn't taste good by itself."

After watching that, I'm good. Another rum and coke (we forgot to buy wine), I'm having fun, it's THANKSGIVING, and we are content.

Missing all of our Arizona family, love goes out to you all. Stop stressing!

More updates later on how our meal turned out =D

Friday, November 18, 2011


JJ, listening to weird music on his computer: "Lindsay, why isn't opera more popular? I mean, I could see how the shows would be boring but the music is really good. How come they don't have like, opera-pop music?"

Lindsay: "You mean like that one scene in the Fifth Element?" ::does opera voice and flails like the lady in the Fifth Element::

JJ: ::stares in disbelief::

Lindsay: "You're right...that was like the best scene in the whole movie..."

JJ: "Making-fun-of-something FAIL."

We spent the next 20 minutes watching opera-esque videos on Youtube.

"That one scene in the Fifth Element" know, the only one anyone ever remembers.

My absolute FAVORITE singer/songwriter, Shara Worden, being her magical self. OMGILUVHER

Job Progress?

Well folks, I feel like my phone interview went so, so well this morning! It's such a relief to interview in what I term "the real fashion." That means, no predetermined list of questions, no panel of people judging you, with a person who is knowledgeable about the position you are interviewing for. It was so refreshing to be able to talk to someone in a professional manner and really be given an opportunity to talk about my strengths and passions. Furthermore, I think this more casual discourse puts both the interviewer and interviewee more at ease...and allows you both to really get to know the other! I've never experienced this type of interview before, but I can definitely say I'm a fan.

After she was done asking specific questions about my resume and experiences, she told me a TON about the job. I've done a lot of research on (love that site!) about what research nursing is all about, and I must say, it sounds sooooo cool! I've always been really interested in evidence-based practice (EBP) and being a research nurse, you get to know a study inside and out while still providing some patient care. She described the study and the team she works with and I'm so excited about the prospect of working at Fenway Health!

She is supposed to contact me next week about whether or not they would like to move forward in the hiring process by having me come in for a face-to-face interview. Keep your fingers crossed please!

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken with Diced Tomatoes

This is one of my favorite recipes to make...not sure if it's one of JJ's favorites to eat, but I always feel so gourmet when I cook it. (You know, instead of the typical cheapy hamburger-helper-esque dinners). It tastes especially good with a fresh green salad. I want to try it with asparagus, but JJ hates asparagus (all things green, really), so that's sorta out of the question. Here goes:

-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (or 1/4 cup of balsamic and 1/4 cup of chicken stock if you want a less vinegar-y taste)
-3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded thin)
-1 onion, thinly sliced (JJ and I use onion flake equivalent instead...neither of us are big on onions)
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1 tsp rosemary
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp basil
-1/2 tsp thyme
-1 can diced tomatoes

Season chicken breast halves with ground black pepper. Brown in a large skillet in a few tablespoons of olive oil. (If using regular onions, you should throw them in with the chicken...the onion flakes burn so I wait a little). Throw in the garlic; let it stew a little. Mix rosemary, oregano, thyme, and basil with balsamic vinegar. Put that mixture and the can of diced tomatoes in the skillet, basting the chicken with the liquid. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.

We usually eat this over angel hair pasta, but it's good with rice too. And super easy! I love one-skillet meals =).  And no, I don't have any pictures of my own cooking, but I did find this one on the internet that is pretty close to what it looks like when it's done (except we try not to smother ours in cheese):

We are also starting to think about Thanksgiving dinner. Since it will be just us two, we want to make a meal that is both special and NOT TOO CRAZY. We are thinking:

-Cornish game hens, with rice stuffing
-Cranberry sauce (from the can, because that's how I like it, and JJ is ambivalent)
-Mashed taters and gravy
-Some sort of beans?
-Blueberry pie

I know, I know. Blueberry pie for Thanksgiving? Sounds weird, right? Well, my uncle Jim makes literally the BEST PUMPKIN PIE in the entire world. It's so good it makes me sad when I eat other pumpkin pies. Seriously. So I kind of don't want pumpkin pie because I think it would just remind me that I'm not in instead we are going to make blueberry pie! Yummy!

Any other ideas for Thanksgiving dinner for two?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back in the swing!

Not going to's been incredibly frustrating and difficult to have to look for a job again. I get all jumpy and heart palpitation-y when I think about interviewing...again.....soooooo nerve-wracking! I've been using the past few months to look for another "dream job" in Massachusetts. And folks, we've got good news: I finally have a phone interview! I know talking about it may just jinx my success, but I'm hoping that positive energy from our readers will help me instead.

Check out the awesome dream-jobby environment I am hoping to land myself in soon: Does this not sound like me, people? An HIV/AIDS clinic, support and research center that is associated with Harvard, Beth Israel, AND the National Institutes of Health? Pinch me! =P The job I'm interviewing for is a research nurse position. Cross your fingers for me please!

Monday, November 14, 2011

More kitteh!

JJ and I have enjoyed these past few months with our little kitty-dude. We feel like proud parents most of the time--bragging to each other about things we saw him do, telling him he's a great kitty and even coming up with nick names for him (among them...Kittybeard, Ki Ki Wah Wah, Kitty Boo Boo Face, Senor, Mr. Piggy....and the list goes on, and on...). I thought I'd share some of the funny (and sometimes not-so funny) things he does.

This is JJ's work bag...which Meeko likes to climb into (crumpling any and all papers inside), and  he usually falls asleep in there. Awww.
Meeko with his "precious." He loves these fake mice. He  plays fetch with them, carries them around everywhere with him, and sometimes inconveniently deposits them in real odd places....the shower...our pillows...
This is something he recently started doing. Every time the fridge opens, he uses the ledge by our fridge to jump on the door. It's as if he's saying "What's for dinner, guys?" Fatty.

So,,,,Meeko has a fascination with water. He jumps into the shower with us (cute.) He sticks his head under the faucet anytime you wash your hands or brush your teeth (mostly cute). And....he drinks out of your glass. Always. (Not cute at all, just gross). We want to buy him a water fountain for Christmas to help avoid this....
Meeko loves his scratching post. Many times a day we find him sitting, perfectly balanced, on the very top, just to get a better view of whatever we are doing. Also on the kitty wish list...a cat tree. We think he would approve.

Relaxing with mom...isn't he vicious? =P

Meeko chasing his tail in his favorite play area...the bathtub.

Meeko begging for breakfast. Poohead (aka, my brother Daniel) says he sounds like a baby raptor when he meows, so we have aptly named his begging routine his "baby raptor impression."

One of the funniest (and undocumented) things he does is how he wakes you up. First, he comes in, purring. Then he sits on your pillow, swishing his tail in your face (still purring). Then he nonchalantly stretches, "accidentally" putting his paw either in your mouth or covering your nose (still, purring). If none of this works, he give his version of a nibbling your nose or chin. And yep, as soon as you are up, he dashes to the kitchen, ready for breakfast. What a piggy. 

And....that's it. Yes, we are obsessed. And no, I'm not going to promise that this will be the last kitty photo brag sesh, because knowing me, it probably won't.

Thanksgiving plans

Okay, okay--I know. I'm REALLY bad at updating the blog, after I made so many promises that I would! Silly me.

The holiday season is fast approaching and JJ and I are stuck with the realization that we will be nearly 3,000 miles from home for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Even though this is really difficult to come to terms with, we are trying to look on the bright side. This Thanksgiving, we may not be spending time in Sierra Vista or Phoenix with family, but you can bet your booty that I'm still going to cook a turkey (even if it's just for two of us)! And I most certainly am going to partake in one of my family's most time-honored traditions: turkey taquitos!

Ever since I was little, my mom has always used the leftover turkey not to make soup or casserole or hot turkey Instead, she has always ground it all up and spent the entire day after Thanksgiving making the most deliciously mouth-watering homemade turkey taquitos and chile rellenos ever. A long time ago, this "second day feast" used to be shared with just my immediate family and my aunt and uncle's family who live in Sierra Vista, but as the years have gone on, Thanksgiving Friday has become arguably a bigger deal in my family than even Thanksgiving itself. When my cousins and I were in high school, it was likely that many of our hungry friends would make the trip down to southern Arizona to partake in the Mexican feast...and for good reason! People literally fight over those taquitos...they are that delicious.

Well, this year I'm going to try to bring a little bit of home to Massachusetts. After years of helping in the construction of those delicious and awesomely messy taquitos, I'm going to try to make them all by my lonesome. Well....maybe I'll let JJ be my sioux-chef. =D

In other news, JJ and I finally have a couch! After nearly 2 months of sitting on the floor, we feel like grown-ups with our own living room set! Never mind that our mattress is still on the floor and our "dining room table" is a card table...little steps people! Little steps!